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5 June 2020
The requirement for retirement village operators to hold their annual budget planning meetings by 30 June each year remains in place during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency period.
Consumer Protection understands a number of operators are concerned about complying with the legislation given the public health measures currently in place to protect those over the age of 60 and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over 50, who are all at greater risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19. In particular, operators have raised concerns about the ability to conduct the required meeting while adhering to appropriate social distancing and self-isolation guidelines.
Most operators have large common rooms which make bigger gatherings possible. Other operators are exploring online or virtual meetings. Depending on the facilities available in a village, some meetings might combine physical and online attendance.
With online or virtual meetings, remember not everyone may be computer savvy and residents might need assistance to use technology or access certain apps.
You may have residents within your village who are able to teach others how to attend online meetings. Retirement villages in regional communities might be able to get assistance from their local Community Resource Centre. Local Government libraries in suburbs around Perth can also help.
Operators who have forged strong relationships with village residents and their committees should communicate directly with them to come up with solutions everyone agrees upon, to make sure legislated requirements are met.
Consumer Protection encourages you to come up with ways of holding meetings that best suit your situation during the emergency period.
The release of the third Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement (CRIS 3) into changing retirement village laws has been postponed, which gives stakeholders time to focus on their immediate priorities in managing the impact of COVID-19.
The department has also extended the deadline for submissions to the CRIS 2 paper until 30 June 2020 to make sure all stakeholders have time to respond. A new release date for the CRIS 3 paper will be announced soon.
Enquiries can be made by calling Consumer Protection Advice Line on 1300 304 054 or by email at email@example.com.